FN America has been awarded a contract for $92 million to supply M240 machine gun variants and spare receivers to the Army. This is the company’s third sizeable agreement with the U.S. military in the past two years. Others include one for M4s signed early in 2020, valued at more than $119 million, and another in September for M249 SAWs ($78 million).
“The U.S. Army contract for the M240 machine gun was the first military contract FN was awarded, and the first to be produced from our production facility in South Carolina,” noted Mark Cherpes, president and CEO for FN America. “We’re incredibly honored to continue our relationship with the Army, supporting them with high-quality and reliable weapon systems for our servicemen and women.”
Terms of the latest contract run through 2026. The previous agreements end in 2024 and 2025.
FN has historically been one of the largest suppliers of small arms to the U.S. military. In addition to the M240 and its variants, the company currently holds other contracts for the FN Mk46, Mk48, Mk17, and Mk20 SSR for USSOCOM, and others.
The latest agreements were awarded while the Army was conducting the search and testing for the branch’s Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) system that, in theory, could replace many of the small arms currently fielded. Final testing and evaluation is currently underway for the three finalists, which include submissions from SIG Sauer, Textron Systems and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. Each of the firearms still under consideration chamber a (as yet commercially unavailable) 6.8 mm cartridge.
By comparison, the M240 is chambered in 7.62x51 mm NATO. The general-purpose machine gun is derived from the FN MAG-58 and was adopted by the U.S. military in the late 1970s. It’s been in service since that time and if a 6.8 mm cartridge is ultimately adopted by the Army the M240 fleet could be adapted by a barrel swap.